Is Nintendo’s Future in eSports?

 

In recent years Nintendo has warmed up to eSports with the Super Smash Bros
and Splatoon series. This is nothing all that new for Nintendo as in the early
1990s they actually offered their own competitive gaming events. The Nintendo
World Championship toured the United States in 1990 featuring special
competition editions of Super Mario Bros, Rad Racer and Tetris according to Nintendo
Player
 .In 2015 the NWC
returned at that year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) event. Could
Nintendo be planning a return to competitive gaming with the Switch console?

Nintendo World Championship 1990 Title Screen
Ben
Stephenson, ShareAlike 2.0

Nintendo is good at creating competitive games. From Super Mario Kart to
Splatoon, Nintendo knows how to ruin a good friendship. Splatoon
is the latest title
from Nintendo to see a lot of interest from the eSports
community. 4 on 4 battles full of mayhem and ink are just too hard to ignore
for most gamers. When playing competitively, especially when tournament prizes
are high, it is imperative to know where your team stands. Team stats, handicap,
etc are often invaluable to a team. eSports-exclusive
betting Master Mazuma also focuses on the latest news in the eSports world, a
continuously evolving genre of gaming.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has just released on the Nintendo Switch. Fans of that
kart racer can attest, it has “eSport
written all over it. With the Nintendo Switch offering local area network (LAN)
gaming, it would be simple for Nintendo to conduct an eSports competition using
this console. As evidenced by the 1990 Nintendo World Championships and
the 2015 E3 revival, Nintendo is not afraid to modify popular titles to make
them more competitive. Modifying a title like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for eSports
competition would be simple – the upcoming Mario game may be another story
though. Super Mario Bros was a simple 2D affair versus a 3D open world game.

The question is, how would Nintendo do this? Today, unlike back in the early
days of gaming, speed runs are popular. Speed runs are feats of skill in themselves
where gamers finish certain games in extremely quick playthroughs. Having speed
runs be an option may not be an excellent choice for today’s gamer. Rather,
Nintendo may focus on direct competition amongst contestants – such as we see
in Splatoon and the Mario Kart series.

EGL X-Series
EGL
X-Series, ShareAlike 2.0

Keeping the competition direct would work in Nintendo’s favor too. It would
be tough for players to train for a competitor, much more so than learning the
ins and outs of every nook and cranny of the games’ levels. Direct competition,
under a timer limitation, can lead to more interesting matchups and interaction
with the eSports fans. Many eSports competitions are held in arenas with huge
monitors showing the audience the action. This setup gives the audience in
attendance a chance to support their favorite competitors with cheers – and
boos for everyone else.

While Nintendo has not always been big on eSports, they do have roots in
this area. They have proven that competitive gaming is an option for them, the
only thing left is to find out if fans agree. Nintendo entering the eSports
world could be the boost they need to keep their consoles in the same league as
offerings by Sony and Microsoft.

 

 

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